In about a year, Surly Brewing Company will have a new home. The Brooklyn Center beer company broke ground Tuesday at its future site near the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.
The 50,000-square foot facility planned for that space will be the company's main production site and will include a beer hall, beer garden, restaurant and event center.
Surly's founder, Omar Ansari, said he never dreamt his company would become what it is when he began brewing seven years ago.
"There was no master plan of building a giant brewery, of trying to grow as big as we have," said Ansari, "but it's all happened because people have loved our beer so much."
Surly's Brooklyn Center facility will remain open and all but about five employees will stay at that location. Ansari said Surly will continue to brew specialty beers there.
"It's going to allow us to sort of do some more experimental brews, do some different things, kind of playing around and really do some barrel aging and wild beers that we're not really able to fit in right now because we don't have enough space or time to do it," he said.
Surly will also continue to celebrate "Darkness Day," which is held every October and draws fans from all over the country in Brooklyn Center.
Ansari told 12 News he and the city of Brooklyn Center tried their best to find a space for Surly's expansion plans, but he said they couldn't find a spot large enough to accommodate the new facility and Ansari was looking for a place that offered better access to transit options. The Minneapolis location is near bus and light rail lines.
12 News is on Comcast cable channel 12 in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.